I have received a zip file from someone which contain all the data for a Joomla site. And he asked me to do some CSS configurations to change the look of homepage. I unzipped the zip file an found a .sql file, a Joomla site folder and a .jpa backup file. I pasted that folder in xampp's htdocs folder and named it as tp and then imported the sql file in newly created database and and made changes in configuration file for database.

Now when I type localhost/tp the site runs successfully, but when I type localhost/tp/administrator it gives me 403 forbidden access error. The short note is that it's my first experience with Joomla and I don't know how I can fix this. As mostly 403 error comes due to error in .htdocs file that's why I am giving the the code at the end of this question.

# @package      Joomla
# @copyright    Copyright (C) 2005 - 2012 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved.
# @license      GNU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt
# The line just below this section: 'Options +FollowSymLinks' may cause problems
# with some server configurations.  It is required for use of mod_rewrite, but may already
# be set by your server administrator in a way that dissallows changing it in
# your .htaccess file.  If using it causes your server to error out, comment it out (add # to
# beginning of line), reload your site in your browser and test your sef url's.  If they work,
# it has been set by your server administrator and you do not need it set here.
## Can be commented out if causes errors, see notes above.
Options +FollowSymLinks
## Mod_rewrite in use.
RewriteEngine On
# Begin - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.
# If you experience problems on your site block out the operations listed below
# This attempts to block the most common type of exploit attempts to Joomla!
# Block out any script trying to base64_encode data within the URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} base64_encode[^(]*\([^)]*\) [OR]
# Block out any script that includes a <script> tag in URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3C)([^s]*s)+cript.*(>|%3E) [NC,OR]
# Block out any script trying to set a PHP GLOBALS variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} GLOBALS(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [OR]
# Block out any script trying to modify a _REQUEST variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} _REQUEST(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2})
# Return 403 Forbidden header and show the content of the root homepage
RewriteRule .* index.php [F]
## End - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.
## Begin - Custom redirects
# If you need to redirect some pages, or set a canonical non-www to
# www redirect (or vice versa), place that code here. Ensure those
# redirects use the correct RewriteRule syntax and the [R=301,L] flags.
## End - Custom redirects
# Uncomment following line if your webserver's URL
# is not directly related to physical file paths.
# Update Your Joomla! Directory (just / for root).
# RewriteBase /
## Begin - Joomla! core SEF Section.
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
# If the requested path and file is not /index.php and the request
# has not already been internally rewritten to the index.php script
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/index\.php
# and the request is for something within the component folder,
# or for the site root, or for an extensionless URL, or the
# requested URL ends with one of the listed extensions
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /component/|(/[^.]*|\.(php|html?|feed|pdf|vcf|raw))$ [NC]
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical file
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical folder
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
# internally rewrite the request to the index.php script
RewriteRule .* index.php [L]
## End - Joomla! core SEF Section.
Action php /cgi-php53/php
AddHandler php53 .php
  • See if this post gives you any leads joomla.stackexchange.com/questions/107/…
    – TryHarder
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 14:25
  • Can you post a screenshot of the 403 page? There are a few extensions, etc that can generate it and most of us would recognize those if we saw it. Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 20:41
  • Check for existence of .htaccess file in /administrator folder. If there is a one, rename it to htaccess.txt.
    – Mikan
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 8:55

3 Answers 3


A few questions:

  • Are you sure about the permissions on your website?

  • What happens if you remove the .htaccess file from your main Joomla folder (the one that you pasted above)? Will the problem be fixed?

  • Also, is there any .htaccess file under your administrator folder? If there is one, can you remove it and see if that helps?

  • What happens if you rename the plugins folder to plugins_old - will it work? If yes, then your problem lies with a security plugin, and you should disable it from phpMyAdmin (it is in the #__extensions table).


You also have .jpa backup file, so why are you taking such a headache of setting up Joomla your self. Create the Site using the backup, follow the following link => https://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/test-site-akeeba-backup/

You need to follow the step4 as the first 3 steps show how to take backup to get .jpa file.

Hope this helps.


Some things to try that have sometimes worked when I've had this happen to me:

  • rename .htaccess to old.htaccess to disable it temporarily, and do the same if there is one in /administrator folder
  • check your file permissions are OK
  • try accessing the administrator with index.php included in the file path (e.g. localhost/tp/administrator/index.php ).

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